In the 1940’s and the 1950’s the hook shot was the offensive weapon of choice by accomplished post players. They would get the ball on the low left block, step with their left foot toward the baseline and then pick up their pivot foot and power up into the sky often banking the ball with spin off the backboard for a cool two points.
George Mikan, Mr. Basketball, with his sweeping hook shot and Kareem Abdul -Jabbar with his patented ‘sky hook” each made good a living with the hook shot. Then in the 1960’s, 70’and 80’s defenses became more aggressive, with more man to man match ups, fewer zones and the onset of “doubling down’’ on the post. The hook shot took too much time to get off. Enter the drop step.
The drop step was quicker, was often accompanied by a power dribble and the post player could still use the backboard and IT WAS ILLEGAL.
Today’s players make the drop step look so smooth and fluent that they often mesmerize officials into thinking it is a legal move. Now a post player getting the ball on the low left block steps with his left foot toward the baseline then picks up his pivot foot spins and puts his pivot foot back down and then shoots a jumper. It is pretty fundamental that in basketball you cannot pick up your pivot foot and set it back down and still have the ball in your hand.
Beginning officials know that a player may pick up the pivot foot before passing and shooting, but the ball must be gone before putting that foot down again.
Watch the video below over and over until you recognize the drop step travel in your sleep.